Mixed methods research has the potential to advance theory and enhance the usefulness of research findings. However, the success of a mixed methods research inquiry is tied to how well researchers integrate the quantitative and qualitative strands, and to how well researchers address the standards for quality in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. In this introduction article, we define mixed methods research and discuss what mixed methods research can offer to the field of educational psychology. Then we consider what constitutes integration and rigor in mixed methods research and describe three core mixed methods research designs. Following this overview, we briefly introduce each article to this special issue, along with the commentary by Vicki Plano Clark. We also discuss how the use of mixed methods can help address common educational problems including: (a) identifying and exploring socially-situated and contextualized learning processes; (b) providing insights into differences across individuals with respect to educational outcomes; and, (c) building instruments that reflect the experiences of individuals who will be assessed by these instruments. Finally, we close with thoughts on the future of mixed methods research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology